The Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 (PL 104-182) establish a new charter for the nation's public water systems, states, and the Environmental Protection Agency in protecting the safety of drinking water. The amendments include, among other things, new prevention approaches, improved consumer information, changes to improve the regulatory program, and funding for States and local water systems. The following are some of the activities EPA has taken in response to the Amendments.
- Consumer Confidence Report Rule - Requires public water suppliers that serve the same people year round (community water systems) to provide consumer confidence reports (CCR) to their customers. These reports are also known as annual water quality reports or drinking water quality reports.
- Information Collection Rule (ICR) - data were collected as part of a national research project to support development of national drinking water standards which protect public health
- Public Notification Rule - Requires public water systems to notify their customers about drinking water violations
- Revision to State Primacy Requirements - Includes an expanded definition of a public water system to cover systems which provide water for human consumption through "other constructed conveyances."
- Variances and Exemptions Rule - Provides options that states can use to help public drinking water system, especially small systems, meet EPA's drinking water standards.